EU denies von der Leyen pressured Ukraine to cut Hungary’s Russian oil supply

The EU claims von der Leyen had nothing to do with efforts to cut off Hungary’s Russian oil supply

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Telex
FILE - From left, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, center, and European Council President Charles Michel join hands during an EU summit in Brussels on Feb. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys, File)

The European Commission has rejected allegations that President Ursula von der Leyen suggested to Ukraine that it should stop the flow of Russian crude oil through the Druzhba pipeline in Ukraine.

“This is a fake news story. President von der Leyen has never been in contact with the CEO mentioned in the articles and has never proposed any action on the Friendship pipeline to anyone,” the European Commission representation in Hungary told opposition news portal Telex. This was their reply when asked whether von der Leyen had indeed advised the Ukrainians to stop the Friendship pipeline to Hungary, which supplies Russian crude oil to the Central European country.

Von der Leyen’s own press office sent an almost verbatim reply: “President von der Leyen has never made such a recommendation regarding the Friendship pipeline and has never been in contact with anyone on this issue.”

As Remix News previously reported, a leak obtained by The Washington Post revealed that Ukraine was planning to blow up the Druzhba oil pipeline that transports crude from Russia to Hungary, as well as other European countries. The leaked documents indicate that Zelensky proposed at a February meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Svyrydenko that Ukraine should carry out the action to cripple Hungarian energy infrastructure reliant on Russian oil.

Hungarian MEP Tamás Deutsch called on von der Leyen to clarify whether cutting off Hungary’s oil supply was her suggestion.

Deutsch said that part of the news was that the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, allegedly sent a message to a Ukrainian oil company that she would consider it very appropriate if the Ukrainians stopped foreign supplies of oil as part of a pressure campaign exerted on Hungary. While she made no suggestion of blowing up the pipeline or how those supplies would be “stopped,” it is clear that cutting Russian oil to Hungary would lead to severe economic consequences for the EU member state.

The leader of the Fidesz group in the European Parliament stressed that in order to make sure that everyone can see the situation clearly, they expect von der Leyen to clarify immediately her role in instructing the Ukrainians to stop oil supplies to exert pressure on Hungary.

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